After studying Visual Arts and Documentary Photography at both the University of Cambridge and New York's International Centre of Photography, Briski first travelled to India while pursuing a project on female infanticide. A few years later, she would return to the country with yet another trick up her sleeve.
Briski navigated through a world of pimps and drug dealers in order to capture the lives of Sonagachi's sex trade workers in her photography. But as she began to peel back the disturbing layers of Calcutta's red-light district, Briski found a source of both hope and despair in lives even more stigmatized than these brothel workers--their children.
From the time they woke up to the time they fell asleep, these little girls and boys worked. Whether it was making illegal sales for the family's underground liquor business, or playing the house maid where a hard slap and a barrage of drug-induced insults replaced a much-needed hug, these kids were painfully aware of their bleak fates.
And Briski knew she had to help.
While convincing the local boarding school to admit the children of brothel workers seemed like the equivalent of moving a mountain with one's bare hands, Briski decided to start off small. She would first, teach them the art of photography.
**(all photos courtesy of Kids with Cameras)**
So Kids with Cameras was born.
Not only did Briski empower these children by encouraging them to learn more about themselves and the world around them, Shanti, Avijit, Gour, Kochi, Manik, Puja, Suchitra, and Tapasi, have started a movement in which children worldwide are being educated about the harsh realities of war, poverty, and sexual slavery through photography. As a result, children from marginalized communities in Cairo, Haiti, and Jerusalem have also contributed their own artistic visions as seen through their lenses of hope.